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Berry Slave Value Database

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, census/enumeration data, event/transaction data, medical records, observational data
  • Berry, Daina Ramey (University of Texas at Austin)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Ford Foundation
  • American Council of Learned Societies
  • University of Texas-Austin. College of Liberal Arts
  • Michigan State University
Free Keywords
African American History; Children History; Economic History; Gender and History; Historical Research; Slavery American History; Slavery United States; United States Southern
  • Abstract

    This study uses historical records from 36 archives in the United States to analyze 8,437 enslaved people’s sale and/or appraisal prices from 1797 to 1865. Demographic information, including name, year, age/age group, gender, state, and trade/skill notations were recorded when applicable. By calculating average appraisal and sale values across cross-sections of gender (male or female) and age group (0-10 years old, 11-22 years old, 23-39 years old, and 40+ years old), a total of sixteen major comparative prices were analyzed (app/male/0-10; app/female/0-10; sale/male/0-10; sale/female/0-10; app/male/11-22; app/female/11-22; sale/male/11-22; sale/female/11-22; app/male/23-39; app/female/23-39; sale/male/23-39; sale/female/23-39; app/male/40+; app/female/40+; sale/male/40+; sale/female/40+). Scholars have the opportunity to use this data set to understand how enslaved people were valued and appraised. The demographic data included will be useful to those who want to explore various aspects of the history of slavery and enslaved people.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1797-01-01 / 1865-12-31
    Time Period: Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1797--Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1865
  • 2001-01-01 / 2014-12-31
    Collection Date(s): Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2001--Wed Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2014
Geographic Coverage
  • The data represents the following geographic areas, as identified during the period between 1797 and 1865: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Sampled Universe
 The universe of this study includes enslaved individuals in the United States (specifically in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) during the late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth century.
Smallest Geographic Unit: Plantation
Collection Mode
  • All the data comes from manuscript archival collections at various historical repositories.


Update Metadata: 2019-03-05 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-03-05

Berry, Daina Ramey (2017): Berry Slave Value Database. Version: 1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.